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Vuvuzela haters find new uses for World Cup horns

From Isha Sesay, CNN
  • Competition held to find ways to re-use vuvuzelas
  • Ideas included turning vuvuzelas into lampshades, tables and plant pots
  • Vuvuzela earrings won first prize of $1,500

Cape Town, South Africa (CNN) -- For better or worse, its constant drone helped define Africa's first World Cup. Five months later, a Cape Town advertising agency is reinventing the vuvuzela.

A week after the final match of the tournament, Matt Blitz and his colleagues at advertising firm Leftfield launched a blog, WoZela, asking people to send in ideas for alternative uses for left over vuvuzelas.

What started off as a few of their own ideas on how to re-use the much-maligned plastic noise maker became a competition offering 10,000 Rand, around $1,500, for the best idea. In a few months they received more than 150 submissions.

"We were originally hating vuvuzelas," said Blitz. "We were sitting in a brainstorm with people running around blowing on them and we were trying to figure out other ways to use them to stop people from blowing on them."

Noisemakers get makeovers

It turned out Blitz wasn't the only one looking to repurpose the plastic horns.

"We didn't realize how big it could get," he said. "We were aiming for generating 20 ideas from ourselves inside the studio and then getting 20 to 50, maybe, viable submissions from outside and we were astounded by the interest, how it blew up.

"Most people said 'do something interesting, but for God's sake don't blow the damn thing again,'" said Blitz.

The ideas ranged from the practical to the absurd, but in the end it was a simple idea that took the top prize -- vuvuzela earrings.

"Basically, they take a vuvuzela and cut it at various cross sections at different lengths and you get multiple colors depending on what vuvuzela you use," said Blitz.

Most people said 'do something interesting, but for God's sake don't blow the damn thing again.'
--Matt Blitz, Left Field advertising agency

Cape Town local Megan Bernstein sketched and submitted the winning vuvuzela earrings.

Bernstein says listening to the horns' constant buzz took away from her World Cup viewing experience, so putting the redesigned vuvuzela on her ears is sweet, silent redemption.

"Out of one vuvuzela you can make 10 earrings so there's quite a return of investment there," said Bernstein.

"It's a nice connection back to the original product and the original use. It's just a different, and in my opinion better, way to have that connection."

Next up for the Wozela movement is an exhibition of the submissions, first in Cape Town and then Johannesburg. As for Megan's earrings, the design will be given to local craftsmen to mass produce.

It's giving a new lease of life to unwanted vuvuzelas, and it could even help convert a few vuvuzela haters.

Blitz said: "We're trying to change perceptions a little bit. In the way people might have reacted and the amount of positive comments we've got I think we have done quite a good thing in busting the negative image of it."